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tv   CBS Evening News With Russ Mitchell  CBS  August 29, 2010 5:00pm-5:30pm PST

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>> mitchell: tonight, from new orleans, president obama says the government will not forget this city or its people five years after katrina devastated the gulf coast. >> it was a natural disaster, but also a manmade catastrophe. >> mitchell: i'm russ mitchell. also tonight, a force for change. the new top cop here battles a history of corruption inside the new orleans police force. rescue efforts are set to begin to save those trapped chilean miners, as the government seeks a plan to reach them sooner. and pitching in: the legendary music makers of new orleans and how they helped rebuild this city. ♪ captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with russ mitchell. >> mitchell: and good evening from new orleans.
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august 29, 2010: it has been a cloudy, rainy day here, but no match at all for what this city saw on august 29 five years ago when hurricane katrina rolled in with a vengeance. in the next 30 minutes, we'll take a look at new orleans' past, present and future. but first, the news of the day. president obama ended his vacation this sunday and came here to new orleans to pay his respects and make some promises. here is senior white house correspondent bill plante. >> reporter: fresh from their vacation on martha's vineyard, the obama family's first stop was for lunch. >> i'm going to try this alligator sausage. >> reporter: like most of the city, this popular restaurant was underwater after katrina roared through. at historically black xavier rebound story, mr. obama hailed the city's renaissance but admitted new orleans still has a
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long way to go. >> there's still too many people unable to find work, and there's still too many new orleanian folks who haven't been able to come home. i wanted to come here and tell the people of this city directly: my administration is going to stand with you and fight alongside you until the job is done, until new orleans is all the way back. ( applause ) >> reporter: the president also touched on the latest gulf disaster, promising to monitor b.p. until the damage from the oil spill is reversed. a cbs news poll shows that a large majority believes the government is not prepared to deal with another hurricane as powerful as katrina. visiting a public housing development later, the president met with maude smith. rescued from her home in the projects by boat, smith went to the superdome and to houston before returning home. the president promised today to finish building a new levee system for the city by next year, and also to restore the wetlands damaged by katrina in the oil spill. historian doug brinkley says the administration is not moving quickly enough on the wetlands and the levee system.
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>> we've got to figure out due to replenishing the wetlands and improving the levee system. we have to continue doing this at a faster rate if we're going to actually save this city in the long run. >> reporter: something that will take a long time indeed. for the president, though, this visit today was not just about the anniversary of katrina; it was an opportunity to show what his administration has done compared to the spectacular failure of government five years ago. russ? >> mitchell: now the president heads back to washington and back to work. >> reporter: vacation is over. >> mitchell: okay, bill plante, thank you very much. of course, hurricane katrina took a huge toll, taking the lives of more than 1800 people, leaving 80% of new orleans underwater and costing $135 billion in damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure. but today new orleans celebrated its survival, as we hear from mark strassmann. >> reporter: just as katrina tried to bury new orleans, people here tried to bury
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katrina ceremonially. in dozens of ceremonies this weekend, katrina survivors remember katrina's dead and their own true grit. katrina was the near death of a major city. americans elsewhere watched spellbound and outraged. the desperation... >> and they will not give us nothing. >> they're shooting you for water. >> reporter: ...the martial law... >> hey! >> reporter: ...the air-sea rescues. for days, thousands of people scared and scarred were cut off from hope itself. ( cheers and applause ) joyce is the face of this city's never-say-die spirit. on katrina's anniversary weekend, she finally got her house back, rebuilt by volunteers. >> this is my hallway. ah, a tub! a bathtub. >> reporter: she's earned a good, long soak. for almost five years, this was home: a fema trailer on her front lawn.
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>> and i'm forever grateful that i can get back in my house today. >> this is my friends forever. >> reporter: that gratitude and resilience also mark this march through the city's lower ninth ward. but three-fourths of the homes here were never rebuilt. 100,000 people who fled the city have never come back, and almost 1,000 families here still live in fema trailers. >> these are people who own homes, they made it. you know, in america, it's hard to own a home. and if they are not back, what about folks who were left? >> reporter: in a changed city, joyce represents the march of progress day-by-day. >> now that i have a house, oh, my. >> goodbye to katrina! >> reporter: despite this mock funeral, it will be years before new orleans truly buries the ghost of katrina. then again, by now, some people here are sick of even talking about katrina. their attitude: move on. but for most people here, getting past katrina is a lot
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easier than getting over it. russ? >> mitchell: mark strassmann, thank you very much. it. russ. >> mitchell: mark straussman, thank you very much. just last week the u.s. justice department announced it is investigating charges that new orleans police were ordered to shoot to kill looters in the aftermath of katrina. it is the latest in a long line of accusations against the police force here. but the city has a new leader who has pledged to clean it up. >> if we follow the rules and we tell the truth, we can work through almost anything. >> reporter: he has been on the job for just four months. in may this 30-year career officer was sworn in as new orleans new police chief. >> do you feel the pressure? >> i feel the pressure to ensure that we never make the same mistake. >> reporter: he spent 20 years on the force here. was the city a -- city's deputy chief before leave together washington state police in 2001 and later, six years as the top cop in nashville. >> i believe in policing. i think it's the most noble profession on the planet.
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>> reporter: the new orleans police department is reeling from allegations of murder, conspiracy and civil rights violations in the cay oltic days following hurricane katrina. when the storm hit, dozens of police abandoned their posts. cbs news cameras caught others apparently looting stores. more than 500 officers were fired or disciplined for their actions. >> my child is never coming back, never, ever. >> reporter: shareel johnson's son, 17-year-old james, seen here in the only photo to survive the storm, was shot six times by police while crossing the danzinger bridge five days after the storm. police claimed self-defense. five officers have pleaded guilty to covering up the shooting. four others have been indicted and could receive the death penalty if convicted. >> everything that happened in danzinger that is admitted in the court is an insult to the community. >> reporter: but efforts are being made to clean up the force. 18 current and former
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officers are under federal indictment. the justice department has launched at least eight separate investigations and has stepped in to overhaul the entire police force. some things are past said this city needs. >> reporter: i think there is no question that the new orleans experience points that out. no question that new orleans was a city that needed this desperately. >> reporter: even before katrina new orleans was one of the most violent cities in america. today the city's murder rate is down from its post katrina record. but new orleans still ranks as the nation's murder capital. crimes like theft and burglary are down 10%. and police recruitment is up. bringing the for its back to near prekatrina levels. >> how realistic it that you and your crew can turn this around. >> i think it is absolutely a done deal. >> reporter: 65 point plan to improve the department. opening up meetings to the public. appointing a civilian to head the public integrity unit for the first time. creating a community
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outreach program. and introducing a zero tolerance code of conduct. >> we are going to fire you. if you fail to report misconduct. we're going to fire you. >> he says there still a long way to go, but he's not second-guessing his decision to come home. >> i am convinced that going home was the right thing for me. my family, my children, and the family's and children of the city of new orleans. i'm here to make a difference and that's what i do every day. >> we want to tell you about three storms in the atlantic that are not as dangerous as katrinament hurricane danielle weakened to a category 1 but earl grew into a full-fledged hurricane. fiona is forming behind them. the predicted storm track would bring earl to the east coast this week where high tides and rip currents have already arrived. overseas two more u.s. servicemens were killed today in bombs in afghanistan. raising the u.s. death toll for the weekend to 7. 30 insurgents wearing american uniforms were killed in attacks yesterday on two bases in coast
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province. it was 1 week ago today that we learned 33 men trapped in a gold and copper mine in chile since august 5th were a lived. rescuers are making final preparations to brin drilling an escape path. seth doane has more. >> reporter: tomorrow workers hope to start grinding through this part of the chile's desert to begin drilling the rescue tinl. it will be 26 inches wide and bore nearly 2300 feet down to where the miners are trapped. engineers are also now discussing a plan b, possibly another rescue tunnel to reach the miners faster. still officials say rescue could be three months away. so to fight bore dumb rescuers are sending down games and even mp 3 players. when a camera was lowered 30 to check on the miners, they seemed in good spirits.
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>> this clear euphoric reaction is really transient. it's to the going to last. >> reporter: psychiatrist jeffrey leiberman says the worry is what happens if the rescue drags on. >> there needs to be a steady stream of communication with the surface to provide them some anchor in reality. >> reporter: help coping below ground may come from lessons learned high above it nasa is sending experts to chile tomorrow. >> nasa has had a long experience in dealing with isolated environments. >> reporter: while spiritual support came today from the pope himself. near the drill site, the vigils have not stopped. most feel all they can do is pray. seth doa ne, cbs news, new york. >> mitchell: and still ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news", the community at ground zero for katrina still has a long way to go, but we found seeds of hope.
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no oil has flowed into the gulf for weeks, but it's just the beginning of our work. i'm iris cross. bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. my job is to listen to the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel and restaurant workers and find ways to help. that means working with communities. we have 19 centers in 4 states. we've made over 120,000 claims payments, more than $375 million. we've committed $20 billion
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to an independent claims fund to cover lost income until people impacted can get back to work. we'll keep looking for oil, cleaning it up if we find it and restoring the gulf coast. i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. bp is gonna be here until the oil is gone and the people and businesses are back to normal... until we make this right. she starts at dawn and so does her back that's two pills for a four hour drive.
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>> mitchell: while new orleans got most of the attention for the destruction cause by hurricane katrina, the storm actually roared to shore first at placaman's parrish nearly wiping that louisiana community off the map. tragically the first place hit has been the last to be rebuilt. as michelle miller learned. >> reporter: when the surge stopped and the winds waned, peggy martin's home and the garden she spent a lifetime cultivating were gone. >> inside was chaos. >> but it was totally t looked like hiroshima. >> reporter: katrina made landfall in lower placaman's parrish, accessible mostly by ferry, and 65 miles south of new orleans. three people died. two of them martin's 80-year-old parents. >> they found them in the front yard over here, both about 50 yard as part. >> reporter: before katrina, about 15,000 people lived on the parrish's east and south end. today it's about 3500.
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some low-lying communities look like ghost towns. nearly 700 families are still living in mobile homes and fema trailers. oysterman gary bartholomew lost his home and boat. he didn't return to the east bank fishing village for three years and says little has been done. >> this community is still devastated. >> reporter: the bulk of the more than 600 million in federal recover money is gone to the more populated north section of the parrish. leaving those in the lower section feeling neglected. >> do they have schools. >> no. >> do they have courthouses? >> no. >> reporter: parrish president billy noneguesser says he also feels the frustration wince understand, you know, they want to see more things back down here. it's going to take a long time. >> reporter: in placaman's rebuilding this fragile infrastructure is taking longer than elsewhere. new orleans levy-- levee
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system say area away from being ready. levees like this one in south placaman's parrish are five years behind. and this year the b.p. oil spill again stalled the economic lifeline of the parrish, shutting down once bustling marinas. >> reporter: byron, president of louisiana oysterman association believes the community will survive. >> this is our home. when you have nowhere else to go, you have no other choice but to buck around and get it done. >> reporter: there are signs of progress. a handful of public buildings have opened. churchs are being rebuilt and the only restaurant, the black velvet oyster bar in the lower parrish which was completely destroyed is opened. for peggy martin, the devastating loss of family and home came to be symbolized in the death of her prized rose bush. it had survived a month underwater but was destroyed by bulldozers cleaning up
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debris. or so she thought. >> reporter: what is this here? >> those are just weeds. >> reporter: this? >> it's alive! >> reporter: a smile sign of life in a place looking for hope. michelle miller, cbs news, placaman's parrish, louisiana. >> mitchell: here in the south t has been a sweltering summer. but it's the northeast that's been setting heat reco a new shows 28 cities and towns from caribou, maine, to new york city, washington d.c. and philadelphia set record high average temperatures for march through august. and we'll be back. [ male announcer ] one look can turn the everyday into romantic. ♪ an accidental touch can turn ordinary into something more. moments can change anytime -- just like that. and when they do men with erectile dysfunction can be more confident in their ability to be ready with cialis for daily use.
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published its own list of,000 elementary teachers ranked according to effectiveness in raising institute test scores. the paper used raw data obtained from the los angeles school district. in downtown phoenix a sudden rainstorm triggered a massive chain reaction car crash. almost 70 vehicles collided on slippery interstate 10. 7 people were injured. none seriously. >> and just ahead on tonight's "cbs evening news", music. they call the language of new orleans. how it has helped to survive the city. do you think i'd let osteoporosis slow me down? so i asked my doctor about reclast because i heard it's the only once-a-year iv osteoporosis treatment. he told me all about it and i said that's the one for nana. he said reclast can help restrengthen my bones to help make them resistant to fracture for twelve months. and reclast is approved to help protect from fracture in many places: hip, spine, even other bones.
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>> mitchell: and welcome back to new orleans. most of the actual reconstruction of this town has been a accomplished by carpenters, plumbers and masons. of course other workers have pitched in as well. musicians have poured their talent and energy into revifering the city's spirit. ♪ ♪ ♪. >> mitchell: five years ago today new orleans jazz legend kermit ruffins was in houston, texas. it took him four months to get back home. what was the time like for you personally. >> horrible, couldn't wait to get home .
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>> mitchell: so on this fifth anniversary of hurricane katrina, he's doing just that. ♪ if you've never been to new orleans ♪ ♪ it's the nicest city you've ever seen ♪ ♪. >> one good thing that came out of katrina is that the world got a chance to see and hear new orleans music. >> mitchell: and while some areas devastated by katrina are still suffering. >> that is where the levees broke. >> mitchell: like kermit's lower ninth ward neighborhood and most of the area east of new orleans, musicians have helped revitalize the spirit and economy of the city. last year more than 7 million people visited new orleans and spent more than $4 billion. that's up from 2006 which only saw 4 million tourists spending less than $3 billion. >> they're from england and they came. give a hand. from england over here. >> mitchell: and they are
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coming to clubs like urban. ♪ ♪ . >> mitchell: this gramy award-winning musician is a cultural ambassador for new orleans. >> is new orleans back? >> new orleans has absorbed hurricane katrina. it's a part of her. >> mitchell: urban lost a part of himself in the storm. his father was killed. he says he now has a greater appreciation for the city. >> i have a tremendous level of gratitude for a city that has given me some of. so if i can give back 1% of what the city has given me, i felt like i would have done something. >> this is my first one. >> mitchell: it is a legendary neighborhood where muss-- musicians past and present gather. >> it is such a pleasure running into you here. >> mitchell: we ran into lloyd price who in 1950 said shall did -- wrote lordy
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misclawedy. >> how would you describe the fraternity of musicians her in new orleans. >> i think it's the greatest ever. i don't think there's nobody as musician here's in this town. >> mitchell: generations of musicians that are now ensuring the deep tradition of new orleans music won't fade away. what made so you confident that new orleans would come back? >> i didn't have a doubt that the people were going to be rushing back down here to move in and be back home. >> mitchell: and that is the "cbs evening news." i'm russ mitchell from the balcony of the royal vanessa hotel in new orleans. harry smith will anchor the evening news tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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officer's life, and a plea for blood donors . the shooting of an east bay cop, the suspect now in custody, the medical battle to save the officer's life and a plea for blood donors. marijuana plants filled the room. special wiring hid power consumption, the overload investigators say led to a fire reeviction. is it easy being green for a bride. the environmentally friendly wedding down to the dresses. ann notarangelo, eyewitness news is next. happen ,,


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